n South African Journal of Criminal Justice - Death on the roads and dolus eventualis - S v Humphreys 2013 (2) SACR 1 (SCA) : comment
|Article Title||Death on the roads and dolus eventualis - S v Humphreys 2013 (2) SACR 1 (SCA) : comment|
|© Publisher:||Juta Law Publishing|
|Journal||South African Journal of Criminal Justice|
|Affiliations||1 University of KwaZulu-Natal|
|Publication Date||Jan 2013|
|Pages||75 - 85|
Despite precedent sanctioning this approach (S v Van Zyl 1969 (1) SA 553 (A) at 557B-C), there has until recently been considerable prosecutorial reluctance to charge those who have caused death on the roads with murder. However, in two recent High Court cases, S v Qeqe  3 All SA 570 (ECG) and S v Humphreys 2012 JDR 0277 (WCC), murder convictions were obtained where the accused drove with disregard for the lives of others on the road, and by their actions caused the death of child pedestrians and the death of children who were passengers in the accused's vehicle, respectively. Central to these convictions was the concept of dolus eventualis, the form of intention which does not reflect the aim and object of the accused (this is direct intention or dolus directus) but rather where the accused 'foresees the possibility of the circumstance existing or consequence ensuing and proceeds with his or her conduct' (JM Burchell South African Criminal Law and Procedure Vol I: General Principles of Criminal Law 4ed (2011) 363). The latter case of Humphreys was however taken on appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal, where the question of dolus eventualis in the context of death on the roads was reconsidered.
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